Letter to the Editor

Faculty brings awareness to various disabilities

By Steve Poulter, Faculty

It’s Disability Awareness Month!

I work with young people mostly. One young person I know started a recycling business when he was 13. For his sixth grade science project, he invented a motorcycle helmet with a working windshield wiper.

When his high school classmates each played the role of a significant historical figure and made placemats for history day, he chose Frank Lloyd Wright and built a table with 5 sides. I know how hard he worked on that project. He’s my son. He is also severe­ly dyslexic.

In spite of all he can do, he is con­sidered “learning disabled.” I am the disabilities director here on campus, and I see a number of people who are labeled disabled for physical and learning reasons.

However, I see people like my son as being “blessed” with dyslexia, be­cause it allows them to see the physi­cal/spatial world in ways others can­not. They frequently just need a little extra time and help in school.

The same is true for people with physical challenges. They are blessed with outstanding qualities, expertise and skills.

However, some need help seeing. Some need help hearing. Some have the aid of a companion animal to as­sist them in public spaces. Anyone who wears glasses and can’t see well enough to read without them knows what I am talking about.

Are you a different person without your glasses? Not really. You are the same person who needs a little help seeing.

Sometimes, people without these “disabilities” are challenged to over­come their own preconceived notions about learning and the physical world.

Sometimes, we all need to see a little differently.

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